Better connectivity to Scarborough essential to improve area's economy, says Robert Goodwill MP

Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill has said improving connectivity between the coast and inland is 'essential'.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 11:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 11:10 am

He said: "Improving connectivity to Scarborough and the East Coast is essential to improving the area’s economy."

Speaking at a York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce lunch on Friday January 17, Mr Goodwill said dualling parts of the A64 was necessary to improve the performance of many businesses and their connectivity with suppliers and customers.

He also pointed out other things such as improving mobile and broadband connectivity also need to happen to ensure the area doesn’t get left behind.

Queuing to Scarborough on the A64.

Andrew Digwood, the President of Y&N Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce commented that it was refreshing to hear an MP so committed to improve the performance of local businesses.

He added that it’s essential to “level the playing field” for our businesses and the improvements that Robert outlined should ensure that they remain competitive.

The Chamber, which has also joined in the lobbying efforts for improvements to the A64, is hopeful that the forthcoming publication of Highways England’s Road Investment Strategy 2 will include plans for improvements to the road.

Dualling parts of the A64 is a saga that has been running for at least 30 years.

The idea was first put forwards in 1989 when the Department for Transport put forward proposals to dual the A64 from York to the then new Seamer bypass, however plans were scrapped in 1995.

There has been an almost continuous campaign since the 1990s, backed by every sitting Scarborough and Ryedale MP.

A series of improvements were made in 2008, though not to the road itself. Safety improvement works for cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers, costing £4.5 million, were undertaken, described as a token gesture’ by Scarborough councillors.

Most recently, the A64 Growth Partnership, made up of local businesses, councils and the LEP, formed to work alongside MPs Robert Goodwill and Kevin Hollinrake on securing the funding.

In August of last year Highways England said it had completed a feasibility study on the Hopgrove to Barton Hill stretch which identified road layouts resulted in "queues and congestion which causes delays and accidents".

In September 2019, Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, and Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby - a former Transport Minister - met with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Roads Minister Baroness Vere to discuss the scheme.

Those who would like to speak with the York and North Yorkshire Chamber on this topic can email [email protected].